Wheelchair Bound Staffer Sues Sinclair Station

Back in may of 2013, FTVLive told you about a guy that we used to work with. 

This is what I wrote about WPEC Video Editor Mike Caruso,

"I was his boss at WPEC and in the entire time I was there, the guy never called in sick. He was never late for work and he did his job with determination and cared about his work.

He also suffers from muscular dystrophy. 

Mike has been confined to a wheelchair his entire life. But after getting to know him you forget the chair is even there."

While I long left WPEC back in the early 90's, Mike Caruso is still there and has been for almost 30 years.

But, it seems now that Sinclair has taken over the station, they want to push Mike and his wheelchair right out the door. 

How bad has it gotten? Caruso is suing the station. 

Gossip Extra writes that managers have made the life of a longtime employee confined to a motorized wheelchair miserable after they switched the popular video editor’s schedule then refused to accommodate his extreme handicap, according to a new lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County circuit court.

The shift change has made Caruso‘s day-to-day routine much harder and caused his condition to worsen.

It’s been so hard on Caruso that he’s had to be placed on antidepressants to cope.

Now faced with the choice between a job he has loved for 27 years and his failing health, Caruso is suing CBS12’s Maryland-based owner Sinclair Broadcast Group for discrimination, failure to accommodate and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The action was filed Oct. 29 and Sinclair has yet to respond.

“Caruso is not asking for any change in his position or a newly tailored position, he is merely requesting a modification of his schedule,” the lawsuit notes.

Caruso is not asking for any change in his position or a newly tailored position, he is merely requesting a modification of his schedule,” the lawsuit notes.

Newsroom boss Michael McCormick, who allegedly ordered the schedule changes, declined comment.

The 51 year old Caruso has 10 percent of the average person’s body strength, according to the lawsuit, and he depends on daily therapy and a strict eating schedule to survive.

Caruso says he is one of the oldest living atrophy sufferer: the disorder often kills by young adulthood.

After nine years of working in the daytime, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Caruso’s work schedule was switched to nights.

Within weeks, Caruso was on the verge of extreme exhaustion after he was forced to drastically cut his daily therapy sessions and, because it takes him 90 minutes to eat, his eating times.

“These late hours are physically and mentally draining,” the lawsuit reads, “which could result in Caruso being hospitalized.”

McCormick has been unwilling to switch Caruso back, according to the lawsuit, despite letters from Caruso’s doctor.

“The changes are bad enough that they are accelerating his physical deterioration and affecting his mental health, as I have recently begun prescribing him antidepressants,” Dr. Bennett Lewis wrote to McCormick.

After receiving the letter, the lawsuit reads, McCormick decided that Caruso could switch.

To the graveyard shift!